DCO Project Summary

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Project Title
Redox Processes and Generation of Abiogenic Hydrocarbon
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Evidence for production of abiogenic hydrocarbon in hydrothermal fluids emanating from the seafloor has been difficult to find. We are undertaking hydrothermal experiments at high pressure and temperature, under reducing conditions, attempting to synthesize solid C compounds without biological assistance. We are also studying stable isotopic fractionations that occur as the result of interactions between thermophilic microorganisms and basaltic/peridotitic host rocks to determine the extent of non-equilibrium isotope fractionations.
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Reporting Year 2012 Click to expand

  • RY2012-1 - submitted on Jan 01, 2012

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    [2012-00-01] Non-equilibrium oxygen isotope fractionation during microbial carbonate precipitation by Sporosarcine pasteurii.
  • RY2012-2 - submitted on Feb 01, 2012

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    [2012-00-02] No synthesis of solid C compounds at 340 bar and 200 degrees Celsius.
  • RY2012-3 - submitted on Mar 01, 2012

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    [2012-00-03] Gas chromatographs installed at Russian State University of Oil and Gas.
  • RY2012-4 - submitted on Apr 01, 2012

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    [2012-00-04] High-pressure laboratory built at Russian State University of Oil and Gas.

Reporting Year 2014 Click to expand

  • RY2014-1 - submitted on Oct 01, 2013

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    IPGP (Magali Ader, Lead)

    Since the departure of Matthieu Galvez, no new experiments were performed on abiotic hydrocarbon production. Starting in September in our group, Chrystèle Vacquand, a specialist of experimental H2 diffusion in rocks, will perform new high pressure experiments with the task of characterizing newly formed solid C products. Her work will benefit from Tom McCollom visit in IPGP scheduled during spring 2014.

    Caroline Thaler has set up the stage for ulterior introduction of thermophilic microorganisms representative of the deep biosphere in basaltic/peridotitic rocks alteration experiment, with the aim of studying their carbon and oxygen isotope systematics. She has accomplished the first step, which consists in using a simple carbonatogene model strain with in simple batch experiments, to characterization of the carbon and oxygen isotope systematics involved in associated with the microbial carbonatogene activities.

    David Au Yang, in his master thesis, investigated the carbonation of natural serpentinite by looking at carbonate veins formation in natural samples and experimental ones.

    Development of a protocol to synthesize siderite of known carbon isotope composition. The protocol involves solubilization of Fe(II) (FeSO4(H2O)7) in an O2 free deionized water (flushing and/or ascorbic acid) in a glove box. Then the addition of a saturated solution of NaHCO3 (not Na2CO3) creates a white precipitate of siderite. Transferring this solution into sealed vials and heating them to 100°C allows siderite crystals to grow. This protocol should be suitable for the synthesis of siderite of any isotopic composition, and is not constraining although manipulation in an anoxic glove box is desirable.

    First experimental evidence for non-equilibrium oxygen isotope fractionation during microbial carbonate precipitation by Sporosarcina pasteurii. This is a significant finding that will inevitably complicate interpretation of the oxygen isotope composition of subsurface carbonates but which may open new perspectives for the identification of microbial carbonates in the deep subsurface.

    Small quantities of Mg-rich carbonates (Mg-rich calcite and dolomites) were found in natural and experimentally-produced serpentinites submitted to high PCO2, due to the slow kinetics of Mg-carbonate nucleation.

    Russian State Univ. of Oil and Gas (Valdimir Kutcherov, Lead)

    A new high-pressure laboratory was established at the Russian State University of Oil and Gas.  Advanced experimental techniques give us the possibility to rich pressure up to 80 kbar at temperature of 1800 K at different cooling rates was installed. Advanced gas chromatograph with a new system of injection and modified scheme was installed in the high-pressure laboratory. We have repeated our previous results using new high-pressure and gas chromatograph equipment. We have provided a set of experiments where CaCO3 as a donor of carbon was replaced by MgCO3. We report that hydrocarbon synthesis at thermobaric conditions of the upper mantle does not significantly depend on the type of carbon donor was confirmed. 4. We have repeated experiments described in #3 with different cooling rates from quenching to 10 hours. As in our previous experiments a significant role of the rate of cooling of the system on the composition and amounts of hydrocarbons has been shown. We are going to investigate this phenomenon in detail. We have made preliminary high-pressure experiments for C-O-H-S systems to understand the possible role of sulfur in synthesis of complex hydrocarbon systems.

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